Bloomberg ranked South Korea as being the country with the world's most innovative economy in 2016, ahead of the United States, Japan, and even Germany. The Bloomberg Innovation Index considers six factors, among them Research and Development, patents, high-tech companies, manufacturing, and education. Given that South Korea started out as a poor agriculture-based society, the country sure has come a long way. Today the nation has the world's 11th largest economy, 7th largest, and is the leader in innovation.
But despite South Korea's success over the last 50 years, there are nagging problems that are holding back economic expansion. Their economy is primarily dependent on exports, which means that they rely on trading partners such as China, the United States, and the Eurozone.